QinetiQ and the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) are set to invest £20m to modernise the Environmental Test Centre (ETC) based at the military installation range in Shoeburyness, England.
The ETC offers the facilities, technology and expertise to enable customers to safely evaluate their live munitions when exposed to different environments and climates.
This provides the customers with confidence that the live munitions will have the ability to work when and where required.
The current investment is part of a larger strategy to upgrade UK test and evaluation. It will help ensure that the test centre continues to operate as the leading facility of its type in the country.
With enhanced technology, the ETC will be able to support additional work to be carried out at the range.
The facility can use remotely controlled test equipment to replicate vibration, shock and impact effects under extreme temperatures. Climatic tests such as for humidity, driving rain, sand and dust are also conducted.
Radiographic equipment is used by the ETC to carry out non-destructive inspection throughout the testing programme.
QinetiQ Maritime, Land and Weapons managing director Steve Fitz-Gerald said: “At QinetiQ we are seeing a real increase in demand from customers who require the type of activity that only ETC can provide. This investment is a direct response to that.
“Being able to provide confidence to a customer that their ordnance, munitions and explosive (OME) assets can perform as designed in all weather and climatic conditions is vital to our national security.
“The investment will allow for a more varied number of tests and increase the capacity to meet the demand for this work, providing value for money to our customers.”
The investment will help fund the redevelopment and construction of new and expanded test buildings, the replacement of old equipment, and the recruitment of additional specialist engineers to strengthen the technical team.
QinetiQ manages MoD Shoeburyness on behalf of the MoD as part of the long-term partnering agreement (LTPA).